Download the entire book in PDF: The Concept of Taqleed in Islam
Once a few individuals approached me who seemed to have been struck with the illness of ghair muqallid syndrome. After the discussion began, I asked them:
Question: What is the manner in which you people are able to extract a religious solution? Are you able to do this directly from the Quran and Sunnah are do you also use the words and opinions of the Mujtahids as well.
Answer: We first look at what has been presented by the Mujtahids and then when we find that its evidence is closer to the Quran and Sunnah, we choose that as a solution. We have reliance only on that and nothing else.
Question: Therefore, is it your opinion that every Muslim must first look at an issue from a Mujtahid and then compare it with the Quran and Sunnah and when he finds proper evidence in the Quran and hadith, he should accept that?
Question: In other words, you believe that every Muslim is someone who has the same qualities of knowledge like the eminent Imams. In fact, according to you, an ordinary Muslim is actually greater than one of the Imams because according to you, he can actually decide which is correct and closet to the Quran and Hadith.
Answer: In fact there are three types of individuals. They are 1. Muqallid. 2.Muttabah and 3. Mujtahid. A person who is able to look at the opinions of the four Imams and then choose which is closest to the truth of the Quran and hadith, that person is called a “muttabah”. And this is only a middle position in between taqleed and Ijtihad.
Question: What therefore should the role of a Muqallid be?
Answer: He should accept only that issue on which all the Mujtahids are unanimous upon and he should only make taqleed on that issue.
Question: If this person continues to follow only one Imam, will there be any harm in this?
Answer: Yes, this is haraam.
Question: Haraam. How can this be Haraam, what is the proof that taqleed is haraam?
Answer: Because this person has made that compulsory upon himself which the Almighty has not made compulsory upon him
Question: Tell me, according to the rules of Qirah, which Qirah do you use to recite the Quran?
Answer: I read the Quran according to the Qirah of Imam Hafz.
Question: Do you continue to read the Qirah of Imam Hafz all the time or do you sometimes change so that it does not become one continuous practise?
Answer: No, I only read in the qirah of Imam Hafz.
Question:What is the reason that you continue to read the Quran only in the Qirah of Imam Hafz when the Almighty has not made it compulsory upon you to do so? In fact, we should be reading according to what has been established by the Quran and sunnah.
Answer: The reason that I only read read according to the Qirah of Imam Hafz is because I am unaware of how to read according to the other Qirah. I have no knowledge about the other Qirah and it is not possible for me to read or understand the rules of these other Qurah.
Question: In the same, what happens to a person who only knows the Fiqh of the Shaafi mazhab and does to know the fiqh of the other Imams and neither is it possible for him to know because he may be living in a country where there is only Shafi fiqh. What do you have to say about such a person. Is it compulsory upon this person to learn the opinions of all the other Imams as well? If your answer is yes, then in the same manner, it becomes compulsory upon you to learn the Qirah of all the other Imams of Qirah as well! At the same time, when in the Quran has it been made compulsory that you need to know the laws of all the other Imams as well? Or where in the Quran, is it mentioned that you are free to change the laws of one Imam for the next.? The Almighty has certainly not made this compulsory upon His creation. You say that the Almighty has not made a Fard on people to follow only one Imam or one set of Fiqh rules, where in the Quran is it stated that you need to continuously change this?
(This person then began to beat around the bush as is the normal behaviour with these people and continued singing the same song that the Almighty had not made it fard on anyone to follow an Imam and this is only created by man that we have made it fard upon people to follow one of the Imams).
I then asked him: Come let us accept for a moment that Taqleed is something which the Almighty has not made fard upon the Muslims and that for one second your opinion is correct. What happens to that person who chooses to follow one of the Imams but does not think it Fard but merely does so voluntary. What is your opinion about this person?
Answer: There is no harm in this Taqleed
Question: However, one of the books of your mazhab actually makes you into a liar. In fact, in one of these books, it is clearly mentioned that “following any Imam (even if one does not think it fard) still too it is haraam. In fact, at times it is also kufr”.
Answer: Where is this found?
(I then showed him this passage and after thinking a while, he replied)
“No it is still what I have said at the beginning. If a person thinks of this fard only then. However, it seems that there is something short or missing in this passage. He continued to insist that the passage was correct but there seemed to be a little explanation missing. In other words, as far as he was concerned, the writer himself was sinless.
Question: There is no sense to this passage. In fact, every Muslim in the world is fully aware that it is not waajib to follow any Imam. Every Muslim considers it a meritorious act and every Muqallid chooses to follow any of the four Imams voluntarily. He obviously had no answer for this and remained silent. He then said that he heard people saying that it was waajib.
Question: Please give me the name of one person or one book in this regard. (Again he remained silent and merely said that for a person to jump from one mazhab to the next has been termed haraam by the Ahle Sunnah wa Jamaah).
I then challenged him to give me proof which he could not do. I then mentioned that yes, there were a few people during the time of the Uthmaniyyah dynasty and who were claiming to be Hambalis were guilty of this and had certainly exceeded their limits. These were merely a handful of people who had nothing to do with religion. I then asked:
Question: The terms which you people use. Muttabah and Muqallid. Where does this come from and is there a technical difference or a literal difference between these words?
Answer: There is only a literal difference in these words.
Question: I then asked him to please present a dictionary to prove his case on how these two words differed in meaning. However, he refused to do this. Finally, he had to give an answer and replied:
Answer: A muttabah is that person who is able to draw a line between what is baseless and what is a solid argument or evidence. In other words, he is able to choose a solid evidence from that which is weak and obviously this is above the state of a muqallid.
Question: If this is the case as you are saying, then no doubt this is a very important status in the rank of a Mujtahid. Are you also in this rank?
Answer: Yes, I am also in this rank as well at times.
Question: I heard that in one of the gatherings, you are also one of those who gave the opinion that three talaqs in one sitting equals one single talaq. In fact your name heads the list of people who had mentioned this. Tell me, before you had issued your fatwah, did you look at all the evidence before you including the opinions and statements of all the jurists? After all, you yourself say that you on that level in which you can distinguish the weak evidence from the strong. I then presented the hadith shareef from Uwaimir in which three talaqs given at once has been declared as three separate talaqs and asked his opinion in this regard. I also asked him the opinion of the Aimmah in this regard and also the opinion of his guru ibn Taymiyah.
Answer: I am unaware of this hadith.
Question: If this is the case, how did you give a fatwah? All the Aimmah are unanimous that this would equal three talaqs and yet without looking at their evidence, you issued a fatwah? In fact, you have gone against your words when you said earlier that you first inspect all the evidence and then choose the one with the strongest evidence. You have completely gone against your own invented laws.
Answer: At that time, I had no books with me of the four mazhabs which I could look at and then issue a verdict.
Question: Yet, you jumped into giving a verdict without even thinking. And that too, you issued a fatwah which was totally opposed to all the mazhabs. At the same time, you were also totally unaware of all of these evidences?
Answer: What could I have done. A question was asked and I had to give an answer.
Question: Why did you not make it clear that you have no knowledge which has always been the behaviour of the pious and truthful Ulama? If you could not do this, at least you could have refused to give a fatwah. This would have certainly been the right thing to do. Yet, you displayed absolutely no responsibility whatsoever and issued an fatwah from your pocket without even thinking! If this is the state of someone like you who considers himself a mujtahid, I hate to imagine what someone higher than you would be doing.
Answer: I have seen the books Fiqhus Sunnah and Subulus Salaam.
Question: Both of these people who wrote these books are people who oppose the Aimmah. Even their fake evidence is something which is one sided. In other words, they only present their side of the story and not the Aimmah. Is it proper that someone like you, who calls himself a Muttabah only reads one side of the story and yet you keep claiming that you look at the evidence and testimony of everyone before coming to a decision.
(He then said that he had done nothing wrong and was only giving an opinion of what little he had studied! In other words, this is the state of these ignoramuses who call themselves the Mujtahids of this movement! We hate to imagine that if this the state of their Mujtahids, what must be the state of their ordinary followers. Allah protect from this). I then asked him:
Question: You have just admitted that you are on the state of a Muttabah and that others also should be like this. You have also admitted that the definition of a Muttabah is someone who looks at all the evidence before him from the various Aimmah and then makes a decision on that which is closest to the Quran and Hadith. Yet, in this issue, you had flagrantly gone against you own definition and responsibility. You are aware that the four mazhabs are unanimous that three talaqs given at once would constitute three separate talaqs and there is Ijmah on this by the four mazhabs and you are also aware that there is solid evidence from the four Imams which backs their opinion.
Yet, without even looking at any of these evidences, you issued a verdict completely contrary to this? (He continued to explain that he did not have any books with him but was forced to give an answer and hence, he had given an answer or fatwah at the spur of the moment!). I then said to him, “you did not even have the decency to look at the evidence from the Aimmah and yet, you freely presented the opinion of ibn Taymiyah without any basis whatsoever. If this is not someone who is a muqallid, then we have no idea what is.
He then mentioned that he could only refer to those books which he had available and nothing else. Therefore, it was his duty to only look at these books. He also mentioned that the Almighty had not made it necessary upon him to look at other books.
Question: What happens to a Muslim who does not have any of these books and then merely based on his own personal opinion gives an answer opposite to the four mazhabs, is this possible?
Answer: Yes this is possible.
Question: If a new Muslim accepts Islam and then looks at the Quran and sees that the Almighty is everywhere and then decides to read salah in any direction, and he is also unaware of what the Aimmah has mentioned in this regard. What should this person do in this case. Must he use his common sense and face any direction and read salah?
Answer: Yes, he can use his common sense.
Question: You say that this person is allowed to face any direction and read his salah because according to you since his mind is at ease, he is allowed to do so. Imagine for one second that we take your method of reasoning and say that a person’s mind becomes satisfied with drinking alcohol, adultery etc. because according to you, if he searches for these proofs and cannot find them, then according to you, all this is halaal?
(He remained silent and did not answer). I then said to him, this is not imagination, this is what is actually happening in the world today. Today those people who are listening to your opinions, they are turning any direction in reading salah without any care in the world. This is what your type of thinking has created among ordinary people. Yet, this person can see that the entire Muslim world is facing the Qiblah, but, according to you people, he can face any direction! How can you say that this is danger which is merely been imagined? I then asked:
Question: Let me ask you this question. There is a person whose child is very sick and everyone has mentioned that if the child is given a certain injection, he will die. However, the father insists that he has seen a certain medical journal and in this journal it was mentioned that this injection would be extremely beneficial to this child. And the father also insists that he has checked all the evidence and testimony and is certain that this injection would help. He also negates the opinion of all the doctors and insist that this child be given this specific injection. In other words, although there is ijmah that this injection is going to prove fatal, yet, he wants this injection administered. Imagine for a second that this father gives the injection and the child dies. Who would be held responsible?
Answer: (remains silent) and then says that this is another issue altogether.
(I then informed him that this is not another issue but the same issue like the new Muslim who completely turns his back on the Ijmah of the Aimmah and yet tries to prove his standpoint from the Quran that he can face anywhere in salah.
Answer: My dear brother! the Quran is Nur and does the Quran need another to prove its eminence?
(I replied that yes the Nur of the Quran is revealed through the reader and this is displayed on the intellect and reaction of the person reading. However, there is a difference between a jaahil reading the Quran and someone who is well learned in Islam.
Question: Let me ask you, this father who are just become guilty of murdering his own son and this new Muslim who is facing every direction is salah, should they listen to you or should they listen to those who are experts in Taqleed?
(Again he kept insisting that the key factor was that the person has become satisfied with his effort). I then kept on presenting this two examples and then asked:
Question: Tell me, this father who listened to you and killed his son. Is there any shariah blame on him or not?
Answer: (Displaying the immense jahaalat of these people, he replied: No, there will be no blame on this father.
I then realised that it was useless speaking to people who were so ignorant. I urge those people who have a little common sense to think awhile. Have you ever seen people who follow blindly to such a degree? These are certainly people who have absolutely no brain whatsoever. In their hatred against Muslims, they are actually giving fatwahs that people are actually allowed to kill their own children simply because they should not believe in Taqleed! A person is deliberately ignoring the Qiblah and they are giving him a fatwah that he is doing right. A person kills his own child and they say that there is no blame on him because both of them used their intellect and was satisfied by their analysis and refused to use Taqleed!
This is the danger of someone who is a ghair muqallid. They are creating monsters out there in the name of “false freedom”. Their actual intent is to make people “free” themselves from Taqleed and at the same time, become people who do not care about Islam. This was the actual purpose of the West which is being achieved through these ignoramuses. They do not understand that when a person feels free from the constraints of shariah, he becomes illogical and is expected to do anything. In other words, their intent is to create a bad name for Islam and sadly, they are managing to do this in most places around the world.
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